Pit Production

Reconstitute optimized rate production of pits, leveraging the nation’s Plutonium Center of Excellence (Pu CoE) to support deterrence.

The pit production mission of LANL serves an essential role in ensuring national security. LANL supports NNSA in several critical programs that must be delivered successfully; additionally, our institutional strategy must anticipate and prepare for future national needs in deterrence.

This Critical Outcome supports three of the Strategic Objectives in accomplishing the Laboratory mission: Nuclear Deterrence, Trustworthy Operations, and Technical Leadership. This Critical Outcome also leverages the Signature Institutional Commitments in advanced manufacturing and production mission maturation.

In fiscal year 2023 (FY23), we received CD-2/3 approval for the Los Alamos Plutonium Pit Production Project (LAP4) 30-Base subproject, received approval for a CD-3A on the 30-Reliable and West Entry Control Facility (WECF) subprojects, completed the first-ever glovebox fabricability reviews, and developed an integrated master schedule (IMS) linking all pit-related work into an integrated and executable plan while also remaining on track for the projects that will support future operations.

For FY24, we will build on these successes through 12 Supporting Initiatives.

Supporting Initiatives

  1. Achieve First Production Unit in 2024 and optimize rate production in accordance with NNSA milestones.
  2. Install L2 Milestone planned components of the major item of equipment projects needed for reliable and modernized pit production operations in accordance with NNSA pit production milestones.
  3. Receive CD-2/3 approval for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) PF-4 Equipment Installation Phase 2 project and LAP4 WECF. (Note, CMRR PEI-2 is also captured in a Supporting Initiative for the Experimental Advances Critical Objective.)
  4. Execute the LAP4 activities in accordance with the Integrated Master Schedule (IMS).
  5. Install and certify the modern manufacturing system required to support rate production and electronic generation of the war reserve quality packages.
  6. Implement nuclear materials control and accountability solutions to improve pit manufacturing operational time.
  7. Achieve CD-4 Transuranic Liquid Waste Facility by the end of FY 2027.
  8. Bring Waste Characterization, Reduction, and Repackaging Facility (WCRRF) online in 2024. Establish additional, permitted low-level waste management facilities by 2027 to further accelerate waste shipment offsite.
  9. Develop and execute a comprehensive plan for human capital that includes retention, recruitment, and training of all necessary skill sets to support the Pu CoE, including pit production and other plutonium missions and construction execution.
  10. Develop and effectively execute a robust supply chain system for procurement and inventory management and storage of quality-controlled supplies to support operations and project execution.
  11. Effectively manage and balance NA-10 and NA-20 scope within PF-4 with concurrence of our federal partners.
  12. Assure Nuclear Criticality Safety organizational capability and implement solutions to improve manufacturing operational time.

primary Strategic Objective

Technical Leadership - Deliver scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs to advance relevant research frontiers and anticipate emerging national security risks.

secondary Strategic Objectives

Trustworthy Operations - Consistently demonstrate and be recognized by diverse stakeholders for trusted and trustworthy operations.

Nuclear Deterrence - Lead the nation in evaluating, developing, and ensuring effectiveness of our nuclear deterrent, including the design, production, and certification of current and future nuclear weapons.